Ask Amy: Don't send ex a card; just move on
Dear Amy: Almost a year ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. We adored each other and brought tremendous joy to each other's lives, but we also had serious trust and boundary issues and a broken, dysfunctional, unhappy relationship.
Almost a year ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. We adored each other and brought tremendous joy to each other's lives, but we also had serious trust and boundary issues and a broken, dysfunctional, unhappy relationship.
After the breakup, I couldn't help myself, so I kept contacting him. Eventually I stopped. In September I wrote him a letter explaining my feelings. I took the opportunity to call him out on some of his faults.
I tried my hardest to use non-accusatory, constructive, empathetic, accountable language, in hopes that he would hear and acknowledge my feelings.
His response was a text message telling me that my opinion means nothing, and to never contact him again.
The last time I contacted him was in a text telling him that he was an emotionally abusive partner, and to never again cause or tolerate such suffering.
Now it is the holiday season, and I want to express my goodwill in spite of all the pain we caused each other. So many of our problems stemmed from a lack of respect for each other's boundaries, and I do not want to perpetuate it. Most important to me is that I act with grace and integrity here.
Stop. Stop examining your feelings and composing perfectly non-accusatory holiday greetings in your head. Stop trying to revive - and control - a dialogue.
The most graceful way to behave is to come to terms with your shortcomings (and his), forgive yourself for any behavior you regret (forgive him too), and move on, vowing to be better and do better next time.